Writing is a craft, but publishing is a business. It doesn't take submitting long to realize this.
In order to better educate myself on the business side of publishing, last Saturday I spent two hours doing market research. Clicking from one website to the next, I looked at different publishers, their needs, what their latest releases looked like, and numerous other things.
One thing I decided is searching for other markets for category length manuscripts was pretty much like sightseeing on a dead end road. There's Harlequin/Silhouette and e-publishers. As far as I could tell, that's it.
The other thing I realized is that I could lose a lot of time while researching market avenues. One minute I'd settled my children down for rest time, the next I looked up and hours had flown past. The time had come to start evening chores. That's two hours I could have been revising my short story for submission.
I've heard many authors advise newbies to keep up with what's going on in the market, but sometimes I barely have time to write, much less read, so keeping abreast of who is buying what becomes a daunting challenge.
I attended a few publisher spotlights at RWA nationals last year, but quickly gave them up in favor of actual workshops. I wasn't hearing anything I couldn't read on the publisher's website or in the RWR. I talked to a few editors and agents at different events, but didn't feel comfortable addressing market issues in a casual setting. My editor appointment was taken up discussing my pitches. Plus editors and what they acquire can change long before Nationals comes around again.
I'm a little disheartened by the entire process. Anyone out there have any good ideas for keeping up with the market? Any good sources for quick news or ways to learn more about what's happening with different publishers? I'd love any advice y'all could give me.